You may have seen the flags waving and the digital billboards glowing with welcome messages on City Hall or across the community. Phrases like “Discovery Starts Here,” “Innovation: It’s in Our Genes,” and “It Starts with One, and We’ve Got Plenty” were on full display.

From June 3 to June 6, Philadelphia proudly hosted the 2019 BIO International Convention, the world’s largest meeting for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Those striking banners and signs were a welcome note to the more than 17,300 attendees from 67 countries who gathered to connect and share their innovative work in the biotechnology and life sciences fields.

With 126 educational sessions, more than 800 speakers, over 250 company presentations, 1,800 exhibitors, and more than 48,500 partnering meetings at the convention – a Guinness World Record for the Largest Business Partnering Event – the convention was quite literally record-breaking. And in the global spotlight, Greater Philadelphia shined.

As a globally recognized center of excellence for cell and gene therapy, gene editing, and connected health, BIO 2019 was an incredible backdrop during which our region’s groundbreaking researchers, top-tier talent, and results-oriented companies took center stage.

BIO 2019 was an especially exciting time for the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative, a project of the Chamber’s CEO Council for Growth. The initiative is a three-year, $1.65 million pilot designed to leverage these important and growing economic verticals to:

  • Generate greater economic productivity and inclusive growth in the 11-county Greater Philadelphia region.
  • Promote and accelerate the commercial successes of the region’s leading scientists and entrepreneurs.
  • Enable local professional services firms to tap into the business development potential of this sector.
  • Attract additional investment capital.
  • Grow talent, expertise, and enterprises in the region.

The initiative’s work came to life as the group welcomed hundreds of industry professionals during the Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences and Innovation Showcase event on June 3 at the Comcast Technology Center.

BIO2019 Greater Philadelphia Innovation Spotlight


At this tristate showcase, talks from leaders and demonstrations of innovative technologies highlighted just how the cell and gene therapy, gene editing, and connected health industries are thriving here.

Through presentations from Dr. Carl June of Penn Medicine, leaders from companies with major operations across the region such as Spark Therapeutics, Incyte, and newly-located companies such as Iovance and Amicus Therapeutics, the showcase demonstrated our region’s exceptional collection of talented researchers and business professionals, cutting-edge technology, and resulting economic activity. These talks were complemented by remarks from David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast and Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO, Independence Health Group, and demonstrations of a dozen novel programs and projects from regional researchers, institutions, and emerging companies.

Incredible momentum was generated at BIO 2019, and Greater Philadelphia was at the heart of it. At the showcase, on the show floor, in education sessions, on tours, and in advertisements across the city, our guests saw firsthand why it is truly Greater Philadelphia’s moment – and why now is the time to leverage our region’s rapid momentum in the cell and gene therapy, gene editing, and connected health space.

Stay up to date with the work of the initiative by exploring the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Newshub page, and explore key messages, photos, video content, infographics, and more to help tell our region’s story through the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Toolkit.